Moody's Investors Service published a smaller European version of its U.S. ratings comparison study and found that the pattern of rating differentials for international jointly rated structured finance securities - deals that are rated by Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings - is broadly similar at the top end of the ratings spectrum.

The U.S. analysis was based on a dataset of about 42,000 joint Moody's/S&P ratings and 23,000 Moody's/Fitch ratings that were outstanding in February 2006. The international structured finance analysis was based on 4000 rating pairs with S&P and 300 pairings with Fitch. According to the study, the number of rating pairs with S&P is less than 10% of the U.S. total, while the number of pairs with Fitch is about 1.3% of the U.S. figure. Moody's broke down its international study into the same broad sectors used in the U.S study: RMBS, CMBS, ABS and CDOs. Manufactured housing, home equity and HELOC securities - which account for a substantial proportion of ABS in the U.S. - were not seen outside the U.S.

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